Saltwater vs. Ozone: The Great Swimming Pool Debate

Every pool owner knows how crucial it is to keep the water clean. Maintaining the sanitation of a swimming pool is a matter of keeping the family safe. Traditionally, chlorine has been used to sanitize both public and private swimming pools. However, this chemical has been a subject of controversy for many years. So, it is only natural to consider keeping your pool clean, using alternative options like saltwater and ozone systems.

In this post, we will compare these two choices and discuss their pros and cons. In this way, you will be able to make the best decision that will suit your preferences.

Which is Best for Keeping the Pool Clean?

It is undeniable how swimming pools can be innovative and wonderful additions to any yard. Having one can enhance your property. You can even design it with waterfalls for additional soothing and peaceful qualities. As we’ve mentioned, no matter what shape, design, or type of pool you have, one important fact remains—you need to keep it sanitary and clean. If not adequately treated, any amount of standing water will eventually grow bacteria and algae. So, let’s look at how saltwater and ozone systems can keep your pool clean.


Contrary to popular belief, saltwater pools still use chlorine—just considerably less than what traditional chlorine pools have. As its name implies, a saltwater pool requires salt. Electricity is then applied to turn the salt into hypochlorous acid, which is essentially chlorine. However, with this sanitizing option, the production rate of chlorine is slower. Consequently, the resulting mixture is much friendlier to the swimmer’s eyes, skin, and swimsuit.


Most people associate ocean water with saltwater pools. However, the liquid in these pools has a salt concentration closer to what people’s tears have. Needless to say, it is not as harsh than people imagine it to be. However, saltwater systems are more expensive to set up and maintain than chlorinated pools. For instance, you need to buy the generator that will turn the salt into hypochlorous acid. Over time, the salt may also wear out the lining of the pool and its surrounding garden.


Keeping your pool clean requires you to get rid of algae and illness-causing bacteria that may develop there. When it comes to killing harmful organisms in water, ozone is one of the best options. By getting an ozone generator, your filters will function better. Moreover, you can eliminate algae and bacteria effectively, allowing you to achieve crystal clear results without worrying too much about the health risks of chlorine. So, if you have members in the family who are sensitive to chlorine—even the low levels found in saltwater pools—ozone generators are the ideal option for you.

Family in Swimming Pool

You also do not need to add chemicals to the pool because ozone generators only require electricity to run. Consequently, maintenance will be easier because there are no chemical levels you need to check. According to a journal published on the US National Library of Medicine, ozone tends to produce fewer carcinogenic by-products. So, it is safer for the health of your family. On the other hand, it is more expensive to build ozone pools upfront. Moreover, it can be challenging to find a technician who specializes in servicing swimming pools like this.

Which is Easier to Maintain?

Of course, you’d want to spend less time maintaining your pool and more time enjoying it. So, you should also look into the level of maintenance that saltwater and ozone systems require.

Saltwater Pool Maintenance

When you compare a saltwater pool with a chlorinated pool, the former is easier to care for. After all, the generator will release the ideal amount of chlorine for you. You just need to add the recommended amount of salt to ensure that the pool will stay clean. Of course, you need to filter the water regularly. Moreover, the salt/chlorine mixture will not eliminate the surface particulates. So, you will still need to skim the water.

Ozone Pool Maintenance

It is important to know that ozone creates various byproducts when reacting with organic compounds. Ozone treatment can generate brominated compounds which can be carcinogenic. To counter this, you need to monitor the pH levels more often than you would with a chlorinated pool.

Making Maintenance Easier

Of course, when organic matter—like leaves, twigs, and dead insects—fall into the water, it can be difficult to keep the water clean. As we’ve mentioned, you’d still need to skim the surface of the pool because the salt/chlorine mixture won’t be able to get rid of the particulates. So, to protect your pool from dirt, debris, and leaves that the wind carries, it is advisable to install electric pool covers.

The great thing about electric pool covers is that you can easily operate them. With a push of a button, you can draw the cover out or in. You won’t even need another person to help you operate the electric pool cover. What’s more, by reducing the organic matter in the water, you can lessen the amount of maintenance you put into the pool.

The Disadvantages of Saltwater Pools

If you want to opt for a saltwater pool, you need to be aware of its disadvantages. For instance, swimming pools with saltwater generators seem to have discolored water and unusual stains. It can be difficult to get rid of the stains or prevent them from appearing again. The blemishes can come in the form of black or brown specks on around the ladders, the floor of the pool, and the railings. Sometimes, the stains can appear like unidentified particles in the water.

The Disadvantages of Ozone Swimming Pools

You will need a residual sanitizer in the pool water because ozone systems alone cannot provide continuous and complete sanitation. Moreover, pool pump rooms can accumulate ozone gas which can be corrosive to pool equipment and rubber gaskets.

It is true that chlorinated pools are more affordable to set up. However, over the years, they become more time-consuming and expensive to maintain. On the other hand, when you consider all the chemicals you can avoid when opting for saltwater pools, their overall costs are generally lower. Of course, you still need to remember that they can be a bit of issue to their surroundings. Meanwhile, ozone pools effectively kill algae and bacteria. However, you need to religiously test the pH levels to ensure that there are no brominated compounds in the water.

It is worth noting that both saltwater and ozone systems can give you a safe and clean pool to swim in. In the end, the ideal pool system for you is something that will suit your lifestyle and needs.

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